Monday, October 26, 2015


Since I went back to work, our home has gotten very small very quickly.

Having one bathroom really really makes mornings difficult.

I don't have patience for the kid-sharing-rooms bedtime fights.  Because I am tired and I really just want time and silence to myself.

Seeing clutter everywhere constantly depresses me and saps the last energy I would use to clean up.  There is just stuff.  Everywhere.  All the time.  

Having our dresser in our master bedroom closet means that I can't hang my work clothes in there because a lot of them are too long.  So the long stuff goes up to the next level of the house, in a storage space, and some mornings, I run up and down the stairs multiple times.  But everyone else is doing that too, really, they just go the other way to the basement because even though I am okay at keeping up with washing and drying the laundry, it does not make it out of the piles on the family room floor.  It doesn't even really get folded until the room is impassable.

I think it is no secret that I loved my stay at home mom life.  This past week I was considering that maybe staying in this house wouldn't be so bad if I could just go back to the much calmer stay at home mom life I had before.  It is also no secret that the only reason I am working is so that we can buy a larger home that is more suited to our growing family.  Even my boss-est boss knows.

The thing I struggle with a lot is that when I started back to work, I am the only one that things really changed for.  Work doesn't replace anything for me.  It adds to my to-do list.  My family still has the same life, more-or-less, that they had before.  Except with a little more yelling and swearing and rushing, and a little less me volunteering at the school and attending performances.

And then I look at everything that I've just written and mock myself.  How can I look at all that I have and be anything other than grateful?  What right do I have to not appreciate the fact that I have a bathroom at all?  Or a house at all?  Or clothes, or kids, or a job??  

I do appreciate all of it.  Every bit.  I do realize that some people could look at me and think, "wow, she has it all."  I try so hard to be mindful of that.  So hard.  And still the frustration creeps in, every single day.

And every morning as I turn off the highway to head to work, I see the most beautiful mountains, and any frustration of the morning melts away.  And those mountains make me think of the friends I love the most and don't see nearly enough; they make me miss my parents and brother so much that it hurts some days.  They remind me that God is near, and that I need to shift my focus a little.  This's not about me.  I want to be a good person to others.  A loving person to others.  A present mother and wife and friend to others.  I don't want to tarnish other people's days with my frustration and grumpiness.

I know that life is a work in progress, as am I.  I don't want to waste it by longing, wishing and not being grateful.  I do want to live with hope, optimism and joy.  I know I am wavering right now, but it has been done, and can be done again.  I just need to stop and remind myself every now and then.

Tonight in an effort to rejuvenate myself, I went to the gym.  I did a group cycle class, which I don't particularly love, but the sweat is good and I need it.  This is the first step in a new comittment to take care of myself again, so that maybe, hopefully, I will be able to take care of others better too.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Square One

So many times I think of our life as a family and the phrase, "hilarity ensued" pops into my head.  I don't know who finds it hilarious. Maybe it is funny, in a "if I don't laugh, I'll cry" sort of way.

I can picture God sitting up above, lovingly giggling the way a parent does as they watch their child stumble through something that they have to learn - and will master one day - despite the difficulty of it all.  He blesses us for sure down to so many little details that I know when I share them with people they add it to the list of reasons why they think I'm crazy.  If not for those details...I just don't know what.

So, I've not posted here for a very long time and the reason is simply that I didn't want to be putting more and more negative here.  The transition to me working outside of the house continues.  There is still not a happy free-flowing routine around here.  Part of the reason is that not only did I "return to work", but two of our children started attending a new school with a calendar schedule that is not only different from all we've ever known, but is also way more demanding of time and money than we have ever known.  The oldest joined marching band, which is very time demanding.  The youngest three kids have not started their fall activity yet (Hap Ki Do starts next week), and I already feel pressed for time.

Interestingly, it's not really the time thing that affects me, personally.  I love to be busy.  I make a schedule and follow it, and everything is happy...when it goes that way, which is rarely.  As most parents know, it is impossible to keep six people completely on schedule.  Six people don't have the same priorities as each other (like being on time for things), don't all walk the same speed, don't all like to be busy.  This is where frustration comes in.  Sometimes there isn't time to "start getting ready earlier".

My biggest struggle has been exhaustion.  Being exhausted makes following the schedule very very difficult.  The fact that I cannot fit workouts in anymore is very pivitol in my life and my family's life.  I continue to gain weight, but lack the motivation to change.  I planned that I would head to the gym in the evenings when I started working, but have realized that my kids need me in the evenings.  How can I rob them of that time?

My self-esteem is affected - I hate the picture in the mirror.  My brain is foggy and I make bad decisions, mistakes, and overlook things.  This is a problem because my position at work entails doing tasks that I have never done before or received any formal training on.  I have no relevant education, and no background or experience or instinct to draw potential solutions from.  I am spending a lot of time reading and learning and trying to make sense of everything.

At home, my children are: the moody one, the depressed one, the explosive imp, and the whiny one.  Three of them fight.  Two of them are violent to each other.  All of them should be actors based solely on their amazing drama skills.  We parents trade off in struggling with patience more than the other, so the more patient one is up to calm, talk, soothe, coerce, convince kids so things that need to happen can happen.  This stage of parenting takes more energy than all other ages combined.  As soon as control is lost and a word is yelled, children shut down, stomp away, slam doors and hide, which throws all plans and schedules off, adding stress and more yelling.

This is pretty much a summary of what the last while has been.  Throw in some strange diarrhea virus that has hit random family members in non-succession, sinus colds, my bowling arm injury that now affects my back/shoulders/neck, stressful volunteer positions, a house that cannot stay in order, and you get a good picture.  My birthday was awhile ago.  It was an absolutely horrible day - a Monday after a horribly stressful Thursday to Sunday.  I had given up Cipralex in an attempt to lose some weight (worked, actually), which meant I had no mental support to deal with all the crap, and while I felt I was thinking clearly for the first time in a really long time, there were also withdrawal symptoms going on.  I went to bed early on my birthday and cried and cried and cried.  I'm pretty sure it was a backlog of all the tears that don't come out when I am on Cipralex.  I restarted the drug the next day.  The weight is back.

Square one.